Sideproject: Top 5 Cork Rock

On Saturday night (July 19) two Cork rock stalwarts take to the Pavilion stage. Indie post-rockers Sideproject are joined by alternative rockers Hope is Noise for what should be a excellent night of dynamic angular music.

We Are Noise asked Sideproject guitarist Alan Cusak for a Top 5. Here’s what he provided us with:

“Given that Hope Is Noise have been one of the mainstays of the Cork music scene for over a decade now, I thought it might be cool to just give you a list of five Cork bands who have been, and continue to be, a major influences on Sideproject.”


1. Waiting Room- Point Your Eyes Down



Perhaps the greatest band ever to come out of Ireland. The monumental influence which Waiting Room has had on Sideproject cannot be over-emphasised. I’ve picked this video, even though (bassist) Dave Ahern is missing from it (replaced by Diarmuid Galvin on this occasion), as it was shot during the band’s prime, supporting Slint in Vicar St. It’s also one of my favourite tracks on their debut album Catering for Headphones. The angular guitars, the hushed vocals and the shifting rhythms in this song are works of art…every time I listen to listen to it I find something new to appreciate in it. RIP.


2. Rest – Operation: Impending Doom



Rest is another local band which has had an indelible influence on Sideproject over the past few years. I remember seeing the Rest lads live in the Cruiscín Lán (with Racing For Pinks) in about 2004 and being blown away by their set. From then on I was hooked on instrumental music. It was a tough call but in the end I picked ‘Operation: Impending Doom’ from Rest as I think its perhaps their most finely crafted song. I love the sense of panic that builds up all the way through the song and which reaches a crescendo in the chaos of the outro. The perfect soundtrack to the end of days.


3. Elk- B or Something



The Elk lads are another group of total heroes. We started playing shows in Cork at the same time as Elk appeared on the scene and we quickly retreated back to the garage to write better songs after hearing how awesome their tracks were. I’ve picked this track from Elk because I think it demonstrates the huge progression which Elk’s music has undergone over the past few years. Techincal timing and a huge chorus. These guys are easily one of the most inventive bands in the country. They are also Grad A legends.


4. Ten Past Seven- One Armed Scissor



Another über-talented band based down here in the People’s Republic. 7.10 have some of the gnarliest riffs which you will hear this side of Montreux jazz festival. They write the kind of intriciate, jagged songs that make bands like the Rednecks blush. Along with the rest of the OOAL crew, 7.10 revolutionised the Cork music scene. Here is a video of the lads doing a version of ‘One Armed Scissor’ from At The Drive In. Some would might say its even better than the real thing….


5. Hope Is Noise- Two Gods Short of My Trinity



I have been a massive fan of Hope Is Noise since I snuck into an upstairs gig which they played in Fredz over ten years ago. These guys are easily my favourite live band in the country. I must have seen the Hope Is Noise lads live over twenty times by now but every time I hear the opening riff of ‘Two Gods Short of a Trinity’ I get the exact same urge to mosh as I did ten years ago in Fredz. This song has the most perfect chorus in the history of rock, second only to the chorus in “My Head is in the Clouds, My feet are in your Face”… I can’t wait to see them on Saturday night….

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About Noise

Cork music since 2010
Millroom 2,
3rd Floor,
Thompson House,
MacCurtain Street,
Cork City,
Conor O'Toole
Graham Lynch